Australian ODI squad named: the usual suspects returned by the NSP whilst Queensland snubbed!

The National Selection Panel has named the following squad for the upcoming one day international series against England:

David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey (vice-capt), Brad Haddin (wk), Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty

David Warner and Shaun Marsh return to the team that went to India before the home Ashes series as to does captain Michael Clarke. James Pattinson has been included in his ongoing return from injury.

There are some desperately unlucky players who have missed out on this team from that Indian tour: none more so that Philip Hughes and Adam Voges.

Statistics do not lie and both men had excellent 2013s years in the ODI side. Voges was 5th on the run scoring list for Australia in 2013 with 478 runs at 47.80. The decision to axe Hughes is even more unwarranted, in my opinion, given that he dominated the last series of ODIs at home with two centuries in five games and was Australia’s 3rd highest scorer with 660 runs at 36.66.

It must also be said that Ryobi Cup competition has again been ignored by the selectors as a selection tool. Queensland, the winners of the tournament, have not one player in the Australia squad. That is despite fielding the second highest run scorer of the competition in Usman Khawaja and 3 of the top 10 wicket takers in same with Ben Cutting looking particularly harshly done by given his additional work with the willow.

It is difficult to concede but seems to be true that the NSP is sending a message with this selection to the likes of Hughes, Khawaja, Voges and Cutting that they are not in the frame for the 2015 World Cup which is only 14 months away. It also must be said that the second message the NSP is giving is that the Ryobi Cup does not matter (unless you are David Warner) at the selection table. If it was otherwise than a player like C McKay, who had a shocking tour of India with 4 wickets at an average of 76.33 and an economy rate of 7.15, would have been dropped and any one of the following players selected:

  • S Abbott (16 wickets at 20.93)
  • J Hazlewood (12 wickets at 30.83
  • G Sandhu (11 wickets at 27.81)

As the Chairman of Selectors points out, we are only 14 months away from the World Cup and this series presented an opportunity to test players who might figure in that tournament. By returning to the “old faithful” in the likes of Marsh and McKay the NSP has missed an opportunity to both select players in better form and players of the future.

Is anyone really surprised?

Goodbye 2013: Requiem for a very good year

The end of 2013 is drawing ever closer. I have always found New Year’s Eve to be a mildly depressing evening, such depression brought on by much over analysis and regret of the opportunities missed in the year just gone.

Truth be told though, when I think about this year it can only be described as having been a very good year. Sure there has been some negative moments; indeed, there has been some negative weeks. However, when everything that has happened this year is taken together the positive moments have far outweighed the negative.

2013 has been a year in which (this list is far from exhaustive but is illustrative):

  • I had the best day of my life (which due to an agreement made long ago I am unable to speak further of).
  • I set myself a lofty goal and I did my absolute best to try and reach that goal (
  • I learned to accept my mental illness for what it is and, even better, I wrote about it.
  • I got to spent time with family and friends who love and support me.
  • I was able to support family and friends going through difficult times.
  • I met some wonderful people: both in person and in the petri dish of egos and opinion that is twitter.
  • I wrote more about topics that I enjoy like cricket and rugby as well as topics I am passionate about like mens health and customer service.
  • Australia’s cricket team won back the Ashes and Australia’s rugby team regained some pride on its summer tour.
  • I picked the winner of the Caulfied Cup and the Derby during the Cups carnival and ended up well in front for the year on the punt in general.

I chose not to recount the negative moments in this post: to do so would be to give said moments another opportunity to take over my brain and effect my thinking in a negative way. I know what they were though and, as I mentioned in the preamble to this post they have been far outweighed by the positive moments, some of which I have recounted above.

Having done a trial balance of the positive and negatives of the year that was and coming out with a view that it has been a very good year, there is not much else to do really other than to look forward to 2014 as another year of opportunity and promise. If I looked at it in any other way then the year would necessarily get off on a bad foot wouldn’t it?

Finally, a note of thanks: thank you for reading my blog this year. I have loved writing it. I know my tastes are eclectic and some of the things I write about are not to everyone’s liking at times so, if I have offended, I apologise along with thank you for continuing to read despite said offence.

I hope you all have a happy and safe New Years Eve and look forward to connecting with you further in 2014.

Shumpty’s Punt: Monday Sports bets #2

The best bet of the day was successful and with one game in the NFL regular season to go, I think there is another bet that could reap rewards for punters in that game.

The Eagles host the Cowboys to decide the winner of the NFC East. Neither side has set the world on fire offensively this year and now the Cowboys are without their starting QB in Tony Romo.

All of this points to a low scoring encounter and that being the case the best bet arising out of this game is the total match score being under 52.5 points. This bet is paying $1.91 on Sportingbet.

Bet: Total game score between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys to be less than 52.5 points

Good luck and good punting.

Shumpty’s Punt: Monday Sports Bets

It is the final round of the NFL season (before the finals) and at the start of the round there were 13 of 16 games that could have effected the finals make up.

One such game is the Kansas City Chiefs v San Diego Chargers game commencing in around 35 minutes. It looks like the results will fall such that a Chargers win will see them in the playoff. At the same time the Chiefs have rested Jamaal Charles for their final run in coming weeks.

Charles’ aside, this is still a Chiefs team that has gone 11-4 this year. I can not believe they are presently posted at $4.70 to win this game and that the line is 13.5 points.

I am tipping the best bet of the morning to be Kansas City Chiefs to cover the line (+13.5 points) against the San Diego Chargers. This bet is currently paying $1.80 so other punters obviously agree with me.

That said, I have not been convinced by anything I have seen this season and read over this week that the Chiefs are so reliant on Charles that they ought be a $4.70 chance. I think that is massive overs and I am going to take a piece of that action too.

The game starts at 7:25am Brisbane time.

The Ashes: The Boxing Test so far … 5 questions being answered

Before the start of the 4th Ashes test in Melbourne I posed 5 questions that I thought the answers to would determine the ultimate winner of this game. They were:

1. How bad is the hangover?
2. Playing for careers, will England’s old guard fire?
3. How is Broad’s foot?
4. Can Monty succeed where Swann failed?
5. Will the Johnson bubble burst?

One didn’t need to be “Nostradamus” to know that the course of the game could hinge on the answers to these questions and, two days in, the evidence is already there to see why.

Mitchell Johnson again proved the doubters, me included, wrong with a withering spell of fast bowling in the last session of day 1 to rest the initiative gained away from England and then again in the morning of day 2 to knock them over. I remain concerned about the presence of a plan B when intimidation ceases to work but for now the Johnson caravan rolls on unabated.

I have written often about Jimmy Anderson’s form since Trent Bridge. Yesterday he showed Trent bridge like form for the first time since that test match and the Australian’s struggled for answers in reply. I have said before the class is permanent whilst form is temporary and Anderson’s class shone through again yesterday.

Stuart Broad’s foot, given that he coped another whack on it and bowled his swiftest spell of the summer yesterday is fine it would seem.

Australia had a bad day yesterday. Actually, Australia had 2 bad sessions yesterday. That was inevitable at some point in the series albeit many expected to see it sooner than now. Just as day 3 is the metaphorical moving day in golf parlance, the side hat wins day 3 today at the MCG will go a long to winning this game.

Play commences at 9:30am.